Sleep was elusive that night. Amani felt the cold chill rushed through her spine as she staggered beneath the sheets. The silence of the night was so deafening and it seemed the night sky complements with the unfathomable atmosphere.
"You can't go on like this forever."
Those words haunted her for years and that night, those words are being whispered to her in the breeze with sheer peculiarity in cadenced monotones.
She tried to suppress the melancholy growing inside her. She pressed her face on her pillow as if trying to send nightmares away but no, the more they linger the more they stay...
"Amani, let's go home. You're wasted."
"Go away. I'm not yet drunk. I'm having fun."
She could still remember how she frantically retorted. Santy was the least person she would want to deal with at that time.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I'm not doing anything. I'm jus-sh drinking, that's all."
She felt a firm grip on her hand. Suddenly, Santy was dragging her from the dance floor.
"Let go off me, Santy."
"When did you learn to go in places like this?"
"Since Stephen left me".
She stopped. She felt weak and she began to tremble. Amani hated crying. She doesn't want to look vulnerable. She doesn't want her best friend to worry about her. Santy knew everything now...even the fact that her boyfriend left her for another.
"For Pete's sake will you please stop messing your life for that damned shit!"
Her best friend could no longer take it. She knew it pains him to see her cry. Even when they were still younger, her best friend would go all the way to buy her an ice cream so she would stop crying. He also would avenge her by reprimanding or punching her detractors.
"Come on, I'll take you home."
"No. I'll stay."
"I said we are going home."
"Damn it Santy! Stop acting as if you are my boyfriend! And don't ever tell me to stop messing my life because you..." she paused. "Because you don't know how i feel!"
She shouted. She didn't care if they were already the center of everyone's attention. She felt so bad and all she could do is to pour out everything that burdens her inside. She wants to slap and punch anyone that gets in her way.
"B-but I'm your best friend." Santy stammered.
"You were Santy. You were...she replied mockingly.
She couldn't understand herself at all. Why is she acting like this towards her best friend who never failed to support her? Why is she hurting his feelings? Ah...those were the questions she tried to find an answer to but fell on deaf ears.
There was silence. She cried and Santy just let her. She wept and he just listened to her. When she walked away, he was there following her every step. And when she got home, that was only when he went away.
From then on Santy stopped talking to her. She knew he was hurt and she knew why. She felt sorry. God knows how much she missed him.
One afternoon, she tried to confront him.
"Hey, are you still mad at me?"
"I don't know."
"I'm sorry for what happened."
"That's okay. I understand."
"Does it mean we're still friends?" she smiled.
He turned to her and she saw a sad look in his eyes. There was passion yet there was something even more.
"Hey you haven't answered me." she insisted.
"Look- you know what, Amani I'm tired of this set-up. When you needed me, I'd always be there. I thought I had done everything I could to make you appreciate me."
"But i do appreciate you. For me you are the best of all the best friends in the whole wide world."
"No, you don't understand at all." Santy shook his head.
"I no longer want to be your best friend. Because..."
"Because of what i did?" she interrupted.
"Because I love you."
He stared at her and she felt the world stopped for a moment. Suddenly it seemed they were alone. She didn't know what to say.
"You were wrong when you told me I didn't know how you feel. I do. I know what love is because I feel it. When you're hurt, I know that too because I suffer with you. But you know what I've just realized? It's harder to love in silence...it hurts most when you are there yet you don't exist."
Those were the words that struck her the most. For the first time in her life she felt so foolish. How could she! She didn't know what to say. She just cried.
"You can't go on like this forever."
The final words have been said. Santy stood and walked away.
Outside, the rain started to pour until she could see him no more.
She never saw Santy again. Her best friend disappeared like a comet flashed in the sky. That afternoon was the last and then forever on, her best friend shall be a memory of the past that time can never withhold. He will be among the stars in the midnight blue velvet that adorned the universe. He's among the spirits who were lost in the darkness of shadows...
The next day, Amani was faithfully up to her routines again-sojourning her lockers gaping for something which had been unusual for years.
There she saw a note wedged in a corner
"I love you for no other reason but love itself."
It was written by hand in bold letters.
"Santy." She whispered. Tears started to fall but she continued on.
"Beneath the waters I drowned. Mine's hope is lost and gone."
Meanwhile, in one of the classroom corridors, a transparent apparition fades and disappears in the shadows...